'Secret garden' filled with rare species open after century

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TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) - A wild meadow hidden from public view for more than a century in California's Sierra Nevada is opening for tours after it was purchased by conservation groups.

The Lower Carpenter Valley land north of Lake Tahoe contains rare carnivorous plants and threatened birds and serves as a migration corridor for other species.

Officials with the Nature Conservancy and Truckee Donner Land Trust call it a "secret garden."

The partnership bought more than 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) from the longtime owners for $10.3 million. The previous owners kept the property behind locked gates.

The conservation groups bought about half the land last year and the other half in mid-July, allowing for public access.

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